Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Back to the garden

I took a break from gardening last year, and I really missed it. Missed it, and kicked myself for being lazy enough to not put the effort into gardening. I had some problems to work through; my raised beds were falling apart and getting overgrown with some very stubborn grasses with tough roots, and the alternative was to plow up a new plot, which we did not have the equipment for. So I did a modest container garden on the front deck, with minimal results. The plot I had thought about plowing up got flooded in the Great Memorial Day Flood of 2012, so I was glad I had not gotten around to doing much with it.

This year we thought about it, and thought about it, and finally by chance found a local guy who had the right equipment to plow up an area that was outside of the limits of the flood. It was part of our old horse pasture, so the soil was very rich. Spring came late to Minnesota in 2013, and by the time we got the plot prepared it was early July. We bought leggy tomatoes and other greenhouse closeout plants at a discount, planted what we could, and hoped for the best.

As of today, October 2nd, I have some plants still growing although we have had a couple frosts. I did well with zucchini (how can you go wrong there?), and I will have my best pepper harvest ever. I harvested three red cabbages last weekend, first cabbages I have ever grown to a decent size, and I have had a few slicing cucumbers. I would have had more green beans, were it not for the deer. In future years I will need some sort of deer fence.

Tomatoes grew lush and green, but I will get few fruits. Deer, rot, and late planting all contributed. Likewise, most winter squash were planted too late, but I did harvest a couple spaghetti squash. A few other crops were a bust.

Still, all in all it was a success. I realized I NEED a garden to wander out to on a Saturday morning, and just marvel at things growing and possibilities. I missed having my own garlic; I will plant hardneck garlic yet this fall for next year. And I will get a deer fence.


Jayne said...

I can imagine the feeling of accomplishment to look over things growing to nourish your family. Just think of how much you'd spend on those things at the store, and they would not be half as fresh. Nature's bounty at it's best. Good for you Deb!

robin andrea said...

Sounds like a pretty productive garden even after a late planting. We harvest our green tomatoes and bring them in to ripen in the late fall. It works pretty well.

Denise said...

As time goes by I have realized that my garden gives me far more than vegetables. It makes spring a season of possibility, forces me to think of something besides my own sweaty discomfort in the dog days of summer, and fills my kitchen with the smells of food being "put up" for the cold winter ahead. Yes, sometimes I resent its demands, but overall I get way more than I give.